SB22-219, the Dental Therapy Bill Passes Through Senate, Progresses in House
The Dental Therapy Bill passed nearly unanimously (32-3) out of the Senate on Monday. Shortly before midnight last night it was introduced in the House. Today it passed through the House Finance Committee (8-3), bypassing the House Health and Insurance Committee, and passed through the House Appropriations Committee (8-3). It is expected to progress through second and third readings in the House tomorrow or Monday.
Three weeks ago, SB22-219 was introduced in the Colorado legislature as a bill.
This bill was proposed by Healthier Colorado, a health advocacy group, and has significant sponsorship by Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, Senate Minority Caucus Chair Jim Smallwood and House Majority Whip Monica Duran. It is being supported by numerous consumer, public health and oral health stakeholders.
In December, when the CDA notified membership about a dental therapy bill draft, the CDA Government Relations Council, which is composed of volunteer dentists, was tasked with reviewing the draft and evaluating next steps while taking into consideration the current political climate around this topic.
The first draft of this bill lacked reasonable requirements for education, supervision and scope allowances. It was drafted without dental provider input or stakeholder engagement.
Knowing this bill had significant backing from key members of legislative leadership and would be introduced and proceed with or without the CDA’s input and experience of our members, the CDA could not successfully stand in opposition. The CDA Government Relations Council voted to voice its substantial concerns about the bill to proponents and work to prevent an irresponsible bill draft from being introduced that could have a negative effect on patent safety and quality of care.
Hundreds of dentist hours were spent reviewing, revising, meeting about and negotiating the dental therapy bill draft.
The following chart provides highlights of the progress the council was able to achieve from the original bill draft to the negotiated bill.